Taj Literature Festival Agra : Of Books, Photography And The Taj


Come December and tie your shoelaces to attend one of the educational, yet most glamorous festivals of the year in the city of Taj, the Taj Literature Festival. Enticing book discussions, tete-a-tete with famous authors, rivetting plays, the Taj Lit Fest (TLF) has it all. Three full days of celebrating Literature: 12, 13 and 14 December 2013. If you love books, you wouldn’t want to miss it.

The TLF is the brain child of Mr Harvijay Singh Bahia, who conceived the idea in a Literature fest in London. The London Lit fest and the Jaipur Lit fest aroused in him the intense desire to have a similar celebration of Literature in his city. This of course stems from his great love for Literature and culture. He has been aided by many supporters who strode the path of TLF right from its preparation to its success.

The first successful edition of the TLF was held in February 2013 in the prestigious venue of Delhi Public School Agra which is one of the sponsors. Literature lovers were able to satiate their aesthetic appetite through some of the greatest literary stalwarts, viz. Muzaffar Ali, Shobha De, Prahlad Kakker, Raghu Rai to name a few. The TLF was the talk of the town in the month of February.


A three day event, without any entry fee, December 2013 promises to be even more appealing. This spectacular event will be held in the charming grounds of Hotel Clarks Shiraz, Agra. The city will wear a radiant glow with likes of Sharmila Tagore, William Dalrymple, Shabana Azmi, Farukh Shekh, Maria Goretti, Rakyesh Om Prakash Mehra, Khaled Mohammed, Christopher Doyle, Mark  and a plethora of many more ingenious enthusiasts. The event will be full with staging of plays, recitations and book discussions. The TLF December 2013 will be the perfect blend of regional, national and international flavor. The Literature addicts of the city should definitely not give this event a miss at any cost.

The TLF February 2013 was a success not only as a solitary event but also in that it has led to the germination of a potpourri of cultural activities in the city. The Agra Book Club, an initiative of Taj Literature festival was founded by Dr. Shivani Chaturvedi and now is an active club for book discussions, theatrical renditions and other literary enterprise. It has close to 50 members from different walks of life, that meets once a month for fervent discussions and activities at various venues (Hotel ITC Mughal, Agra being one of its regular venues)—it has indeed progressed a great deal since its inception.

The Young Writers’ Club of Agra is also an initiative of the TLF. Students from various schools have their writing skills honed with the help of their mentors. The greatest achievement of the TLF is that 1 book of short stories written by students of some of the schools of Agra under the aegis of the Young Writers’ Club will be launched during TLF December 2013.

The Photographer’s Club of Agra is another offshoot of TLF. December 2013 will witness an exquisite display of their talents in the form of an exhibition.

All in all, the TLF is an ‘Awakening’. The literary sensibility of the city has at last found its ‘chicken soup for the soul.’ The TLF began as a vision, an idea, but having become the cradle of creativity, it is fast gaining a strong foothold. The vast literary potential of a city steeped in native culture has finally found its calling in the TLF.

Be sure to attend the fest on the 12th, 13th and 14th December at Hotel Clarks Shiraz to rejuvenate your soul and awaken the inner literature lover.

If you’re an Agra resident and happen to think of yourself as an artist or otherwise, this makes for a perfect weekend plan. And if you’re not an Agra resident, this is the best reason to plan your trip to the City of Taj.

Getting there…

Getting to Agra is no big deal from any corner of the world. TLF 2013 will be held at Hotel Clarks Shiraz, Fatehabad Road. The venue is about 7 km from the Agra Airport and only 3 km from the main Railway Station at Agra Cantt. Tourists can catch comfortable Volvo buses to Agra from New Delhi via Noida expressway which is around 2 hours drive from New Delhi.

Your Stay…

Hotel Clarks Shiraz, the host venue itself is a five-star luxury hotel which combines business with pleasure, style with substance, form with function. Just 2 km away from Taj Mahal, a stay here would mark your presence in all the events scheduled for 3 days at TLF. The other luxury hotels in Agra which are nearby include Hotel Jaypee Palace, Hotel Mughal Sheraton, and Hotel Gateway. For those of you looking for budget hotels, Fatehabad Road has many in store.


Travel Around…

Your visit to Agra is a complete justice only when you cover a few (if not all) the places in and around Agra. There are many destinations and weekend getaways that could be covered in a day or two beyond Taj Mahal. Check our list of Great Things To See Beyond Taj Mahal in Agra. Take a drive to Fatehpur Sikri, shop in the streets and eat the traditional cuisine here. Plan your trip in such a way that you don’t miss your favourite events at TLF and at the same time allow enough time to experience Agra. With options so wide and beauty so abundant, we hope that your trip to Agra and TLF 2013 will be one of the most satisfying ever!

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